How to paint and shade WHITE??????
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Thread: How to paint and shade WHITE??????

  1. #1

    Question How to paint and shade WHITE??????

    Hi @ all!

    well ... I know about shading and so on. It works fine - for most colors. But here are the top of the problem colors ...

    Top 3 Golden Yellow
    Top 2 Bad Moon Yellow
    Top 1 Skull White

    Especially Skull white is almost impossible to paint smooth. I tried a lot ... thinning with lots of layers gives you only a chalky view... more thicker .... gives you rubble on the surface.

    Do You have a idea or a good how to?

    Thanks in advance ...


    Here you see what I do for shading at the moment.

  2. #2


    You might simply try a different type of paint. I use paint from tubes - the kind you get at an art store. MIGHT help.

  3. #3


    For white: I paint white on a light blue surface. Especially Ice Blue is really nicely opaque and gives a good coverage. Also that can be used to get the actual shading. Like my current work in progress:
    Same can be done with light gray as well, the GW-grays cover fairly, although not as nicely as Ice Blue.
    Or you might try another vendor, there are many.

  4. #4


    It happens that I'm just painting White templar/knight hospitaller marine. I started with basecolor of silvergrey (vallejo model color) and codex grey. I didn't make this first layer of base color too dark, so that it would be easier to to move towards pure white. For shading I added more codex grey to base color and for extreme shades even small amount of black.

    I really don't like bright yellow colors and that's why I always use goldbrown*, orange ochre* or some similar colors. For shading yellow I like to use brown colors, like snakebite leather (there is some yellow in) and perhaps also some orange brown colors as well. As for base color you can always mix some of those brown and brighter yellow colors. And never paint yellow over a black basecoat. Or you can do so, if you like painting 10 to 20 layers of yellow before it looks smooth enough.

    *Vallejo colors

  5. #5


    I switched to the P3 whites about six months ago. They thin down much better (without the chalk texture, which is due to the Zinc separation)

    They also have a nice selection of off whites for warmer shades (although I don't normally use them, they are available)

    I've actually moved to doing most of my light colors with P3's and darker colors with GW (better coverage)

  6. #6


    Quite simple if you want a gw formula you do this. 1:2 chaos black codex gray mix, followed by pure codex gray, followed by fortress and codex mix and then fortress then fortress and white, then white. if you want a more bluish tint, go with shadow instead of codex. all these layers must be fairly waterd down to a highlight consistency, if you think of them all as basecoats then you will get chalky white. meaning you may need a few layers of each.
    try this out. and let me know if it worked for you

    P.S for the yellows its easier. just do a foundation yellow color, either one, do a few thinned layers of that over your undercoat, then do a black wash of badab black and then start glazing/highlighting with golden yellow, and if you want it to be brighter after golden yellow highlight with badmoon.
    "If you've got what it takes...
    Its gonna take everything you've got."

  7. #7

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for replys @ crazyboyae1 and Hendarion.

    I'll report back soon.

    By the way: what do you mean by "highlight consistency"?

    I usually water down my paints on a white tile until it's nicely thin - but when I see the white - it's too much water. For glazes I water down more - like in this mini's eyes: There I did Hawk T. paint for lense ... followed by highlights by Bleached Bone + Hawk in 1:1. After drying I applied a bit of Hawk glaze.

    But I'm missing a non-white tile for watering down white *g*.

    So I'll try and report. By the way: yellows are needed for my Bad-Moons clan (Paintet them with Golden Yellow over Tau Sept Ocre - followed by Badab - for orks this dirty look is okay ... but for Eldar, Marines and Co it should me smother - that's why I asked)



  8. #8


    I tend to slap the pure white on after having done a basecoat that'll provide the shading. Something fairly light (bleached bone, bubonic brown, elf grey, shadow grey, ice blue) - any deep shading can be worked in with a cross between washing and glazing, controlling where one wants the ink to go more than one would in washing, but using it diluted a tad so it isn't such a dominant pigment.

    Choosing which colour to be the white basecoat is informed by the texture. An organic surface like cloth is suggested by a bone/bubonic kind of basecoat. Something more man-made like armour is suggested by ice blue/shadow grey.

    Have encountered that chalky white before myself too. Reckon I'll check out the P3 range others have suggested.

  9. #9


    my fav white is vallejo air white. very strong pigment

  10. #10


    I concur with freak Air white is great

  11. #11


    White ink is good to thin white paint with (I use tube white rather than miniature brands).


  12. #12


    For myself, I've given up on trying to get smooth even coats from those colours. Instead, I pick my base colour that I want to be in the shadows, and start building them up in extremely thinned washes. Like 10:1 water to paint, or more. It takes a lot longer, but I've been happy with the results.

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